A group of concerned experts have moved to scuttle the $3.7 billion (about N590 billion) proposed coal plant in Enugu, South-East Nigeria, saying that it offers more dangers than benefits.
The experts, led by Engr. Celestine Uneze, have petitioned international environmental watchdog Greenpeace International, urging it to intervene to scuttle the project being undertaken by China’s HTG-Pacific Energy Consortium in partnership with the Nigerian Government.
“Please we urgently need your help as the Federal Government of Nigeria is determined to build Coal Power Plant in Nigeria, not minding the dangers to the Planet Earth and we the inhabitants in the face of growing environmental warnings. Please come over to Nigeria and call for actions to halt this plant NOW,” Uneze, an expert in both electrical and alternative energy, said in the petition dated August 20.
Uneze, a former senior staffer of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Nigeria since retired into consultabncy business, has also started mobilising against the coal plant project on online communities, citing opposition to such projects elsewhere, including even by the Chinese Government.
In one of his postings entitled “South East People: Do Not Allow Coal Power Plants”, Uneze wrote: “After I read the dangers of COAL POWER PLANTS, I passed the information to few people. Now it is certain that FG is going ahead to site COAL POWER PLANT in Nsukka.
It is a pity that while we have abundant RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES IN NIGERIA, into which developed countries like USA, Germany etc are seriously investing, we are moving into the old dangerous technologies like COAL being abandoned by them. It is interesting that a Chinese company that can not be allowed to build Coal Power Plant in China is serious to build it in Nigeria.
“Today, over 30-50% new power generating capacities come from alternative energy (renewable sources like Solar and Wind which are in abundance in Nigeria) in USA, Germany etc. Even WASTE TO ENERGY can help clean up Nigerian environment and give us more power.
I have spent reasonable time and resources in this field and tried the little I can to sensitize the State and Federal Governments with little or no success.
“Please I call on Professionals in this field and those with contacts and power to lobby to urgently rise to this issue. We must not allow our present and future generation be killed by COAL POWER PLANT POLLUTION. It must be STOPPED and NOW.”
The campaign against the Nsukka, Enugu, coal project is backed by other experts, among them Engr. Jude K. C. Obichere, a PhD Researcher on Control & Power Systems Engineering in Renewable Energy with the University of Northumbria, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
Obichere regretted that “despite the call for Nigeria to desist from Coal Plant, our President Jonathan has gone ahead to announce the project and to say that Nigeria is to generate 30% electricity from coal.”
Referring to the recent stoppage of a massive coal plant project in China by that country’s government, Obichere said: “Let’s hope our Government will heed to the Chinese action, if our corrupt officials who are benefiting from such project initiative in Nigeria will allow it.
“Remember, no amount of filter you can install will be a solution to reducing the polution from coal-fired plant. So Nigeria should understand that, and desist from such unhealthy project while embracing greener and cleaner energy resources like renewable energy.”